M. P. Birla Planetarium is one of the educational places in Kolkata, all the students or who loves to know about galaxy, universe and its secrets, should visit this place. The planetarium opened its door on 29th September 1962. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (Prime Minister of India of that time) inaugurated this planetarium on 2nd July 1963. It is an iconic structure built after the famous Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi. The planetarium is located at 96, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, adjacent to St. Paul’s Cathedral Church and near Victoria Memorial, it is a landmark in the city of Kolkata and should never be missed from Kolkata tourist place list.
While inaugurating the facility, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stated that“ we tend to exaggerate the importance of our petty selves on this speck of dust. So this planetarium must serve a useful purpose, apart from gathering knowledge and imparting it. It gives us an idea of what we are and makes us think of a true perspective”. Currently, two presentations are available Cosmic collisions (Demonstrate creation of Earth, moon, etc.) and Our Universe. To know more, click here.
Below are few facts about the M. P. Birla Planetarium
- While inauguration in 1962, the M. P. Birla Planetarium was the first public planetarium in India.
- The planetarium now boasts of its latest Carl Zeiss Hybrid Projection System with the advanced optomechanical projector StarMaster capable of showing the natural night sky. Nine ultra-high resolution “Velvet” digital projectors create an immersive environment of the cosmos while watching.
- 23-meter diameter AstroTec dome (USA), made from high precision perforated Aluminum sheets
- 570 push back progressively reclining seats in a concentric arrangement. It is also one of the largest in the world in terms of its seating capacity.
- The planetarium has designed and presented more than 300 astronomical projects dealing with various aspects of astronomy, astrophysics, celestial and space sciences and even mythology concerning the stars and the planets.
INR 80 per person per show. Although, you have an option to choose between online and offline tickets. Online ticket is available at bookmyshow.com.
Each presentation takes almost half an hour after that you can move through the gallery area before the final exit.
There are two show available in three different languages and its timings are below
- Cosmic Collisions – 12:30, 02:30, 04:30 (Hindi) | 03:30, 05:30 (Bengali) | 01:30 (English)
- Our Universe – 06:30 (English)
There is no parking in Birla Planetarium premises but you can park your motorcycle or car in adjacent St. Paul’s Cathedral Church for a nominal charge. The security personnel will take money from you for parking but will never give a slip to you.
Anyone interested in Astronomy can enroll for different courses. Also, a very clean washroom is available for use. You can have snacks, tea & coffee from roadside vendors.
How to Reach:
Being almost in the center of Kolkata, you can avail metro, bus or cabs to reach Maidan. From every corner of the city, transportation is available.
Nearby places to Visit:
You can visit the Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Elliot Park, Mohorkunja, Princep Ghat, Jawaharlal Nehru Children Museum, and Aurobindo Ashram.
Rules to Follow:
- Age Limit: Open for all.
- As there are no seat numbers, consecutive seating cannot be ensured at times of rush.
- All visitors, including children above 3 years, are charged full (Rs. 80.00) per head.
- Visitors booking online tickets should compulsorily be present at the venue at least 15 minutes before the scheduled show. Visitors will not be allowed inside the Sky-Theater once the show begins.
- Eatables are not allowed inside the sky-theatre.
- Mobiles are to be switched-off inside sky-theatre as it deteriorates the experience.
- There is a `no refund` policy for tickets once booked.
- Heavy Luggage has to be deposited at the baggage counter at the visitors’ risk.
- Visitors are not allowed along with pets, weapons, ammunition or dangerous materials.
- Rights to admission reserved.
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